Friday, March 29, 2013

Mexico – Surge in Violence –Journalists Murdered - One City Fights Back – Citizen Militia patrols City – Those Crossing Border To Escape - should be allowed Political Asylum

Lydia Cacho, Journalist – from Borderland Beat: “ Most Killings of Journalists are Ordered by: Government, Military, Political Parties”

From the UK Daily Mail – a reporton a Mexican City close to the tourist resort of Acapulco, where residents formed a militia, armed to the teeth, arresting a local police official who was said to have taken part in a murder on behalf of a drug cartel. The ongoing “drug cartel wars” have taken approximately 70,000 lives. Borderland Beat reported on the events on Wednesday - :

“The vigilantes accuse the ex-security director of participating in the killing of vigilante leader Guadalupe Quinones Carbajal, 28, on behalf of local organized crime groups and dumping his body in a nearby town on Monday. They reported seizing several high-powered rifles from his car, and vigilantes were seen toting a number of sophisticated assault rifles on Wednesday, although it was not clear if all had been taken from the ex-security director's car.

"We have besieged the municipality, because here criminals operate with impunity in broad daylight, in the view of municipal authorities. We have detained the director of public security because he is involved with this criminals and he knows who killed our commander”

The groups say they are fighting violence, kidnappings and extortions carried out by drug cartels, but concerns have surfaced that the vigilantes may be violating the law, the human rights of people they detain, or even cooperating with criminals in some cases.

Sensitive over their lack of ability to enforce public safety in rural areas, official have largely tolerated vigilante groups.

In the lawlessness that exists, and disregard for human life, the drug cartels continue to send “messages” to one another and, by default, residents of cities and towns” by committing atrocities one would imagine only exist in terror films. The latest comes from two cities controlled by rival gang members - where a video was posted depicting the decapitation and boiling in a hot vat of acid, three men and two women by one cartel (Borderland Beat – graphic and disturbing – full article here)

There are varied reasons why Mexican nationals have been coming into the U.S. without benefits of a visa, for years. If one were to separate the political rhetoric from the reality for a moment, one might understand that for many, it is an escape from a nation that appears to have no respect for human life – especially when the criminals are literally running the county. The decision by the U.S. Administration to furlough Border Agents, leaving U.S. residents on the border, to fend for themselves in an attempt to politicize the “Sequestration” that the Administration designed in order to raise the debt ceiling (without believing they would be faced with opposition to do the same down the road.) The U.S. political stunt is leaving both U.S. Citizens as well as those Mexican nationals who may be trying to save themselves and their families – open to more violence.

There should be a realistic policy regarding the border between Mexico and the U.S. and that policy should differentiate between those who are here to commit crimes (those members of drug cartels, or those who are involved in human trafficking), and those who are truly seeking political asylum. If there were a policy in place, whereby the border was under control, by U.S. troops, and/or the Border States National Guard, with the option for those coming to the border to ask for political asylum, it would have a net positive impact on those who would come here to the U.S. to escape the violence from the cartels, and return drug traffickers and cartel members to Mexico empty handed.

Understanding that the U.S. is “blamed” for the Mexican drug problem, due to the fact that the U.S. is the “consumer”, is a fallacious argument, designed to kick the can down the road, by politicians on both sides. One can imagine that with the drug cartel “lobby”, it is much easier to point the finger at the consumer, by politicians on both sides of the border.

Meanwhile, those families living in cities where bodies are left in town squares, must suffer the consequences, and take their chances, alongside those who would do harm – on both sides of the border. Perhaps, should more of the Mexican Populace take up the dangerous task of forming militias in order to protect their families, U.S. foreign aid should be going to arm those who would keep Mexican citizens safe, instead of the Government which is obviously in over its head. (or in collusion with the cartels.)

It is a theory only, but one which might go far in changing the attitudes in the U.S. over “illegal immigration” if one were able to look at it as “political asylum” It would of course, have to start with a change in the way the U.S. border is “controlled”.

Until then, there will be those on both sides of the “fence” who will suffer.

Additional Reading CNN - A grisly crime surges into spotlight as Mexico shifts drug war strategy”

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